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FAR EASTERN SHIPPING COMPANY vs.

COURT OF
APPEALS
G.R. No. 130068 October 1, 1998

Facts:
M/V Pavlodar owned and operated by the Far Eastern Shipping
Company (FESC) arrived at the port of Manila. Senen Gavino was
assigned by the Manila Pilot's Association (MPA) to conduct docking
manuevers for the safe berthing of the vessel. Gavino stationed
himself in the bridge, with the master of the vessel, Victor Kavankov,
beside him.
When the vessel was already about 2000 feet from the pier, Gavino
ordered the anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew
of the vessel. However the anchor did not hold as expected. The speed
of
the
vessel
did
not
slacken.
A commotion ensued between the crew members. When Gavino
inquired about the commotion, Kavankov assured Gavino that there
was nothing to it.
The bow of the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing
considerable damage to the pier. PPA filed a complaint for a sum of
money against FESC, Gavino and MPA. CA ruled in favor of PPA holding
them liable with MPA (employer of Kavankov) entitled to
reimbursement from Gavino.

Issue:
Are the counsels for the parties committed acts which require the
exercise of the court's disciplinary powers?

Held:
YES. The records show that the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario
thru its associate, Atty Tria, is the counsel of record for FESC in both GR
no 130068 and GR no 130150. GR 130068 which is assigned to the
Court's second division, commenced with the filing of a verified motion
for extension of time which contained a certification against forum
shopping signed by counsel Tria stating that to the best of his
knowledge there is no action or proceeding pending in the SC, CA or
any other tribunal.

Reviewing the records, the court finds that the petition filed by MPA in
GR no, 130150 then pending with the third division was duly filed with
a copy thereof furnished by registered mail to counsel for FESC (atty
Tria). It would be fair to conclude that when FESC filed its petition GR
no 130068, it would aready have received a copy of the copy of the
petition by MPA. It wa therefore encumbent upon FESC to inform the
court of the pending action. But considering that it was a superfluity at
that stage of the proceeding , it being unnecessary to file such
certification of non forum shopping with a mere motion for extension,
the court disregarded such error.
On the other hand it took the OSG, representing PPA, an ordinately and
unreasonably long period of time to file its comment, thus unduly
delaying the resolution of these cases. In GR no 130068, it took 210
days before the OSG filed its comment. FESC was not even furnished
with a copy. In Gr no 130150 it took 180 days before comment was
filed. This disinclination of the OSG to seasonably file required
pleadings constitutes deplorable disservice to the public and can only
be categorized as inefficiency on the part of the govt law office.
Counsel for FESC, the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario,
specifically its asscociate Tria is reprimaded and warned that a
repetition of the same acts shall be dealt with severely.
The original members of the legal tean of the OSG are admonished and
warned tha a repetition shall also be dealt with more stringently.
Baka lang itanong kung ano ruling: The decision of the CA is affirmed.
Gavino, MPA and FESC are declared solidarily liable with MPA entitled
to reimbursement from Gavino for such amount of the adjudged
pecuniary liability in excess of the amount equivalent to 75% of its
prescribed reserved fund.